Saving Money by Going Green this Holiday Season

Gifts wrapped and stacked beneath a tree in gold and red.

Money is going to be tight for a lot of people this year, but you can save money by going green on your gift giving this holiday season. How? We’ll explain:

Give experiences instead of items

Instead of gifting toys or physical, tangible items that may outlive their usefulness and end up in a landfill somewhere, instead try gifting experiences. A great experience is a memorable moment that will live with someone forever! Experiences are also perfect for the people on your list that seem to have everything already. Experiences seldom need more than a gift certificate or print out so are a perfect green item. Some amazing ideas for experiences you can gift:

  • Train ride (Restaurant train ride, murder mystery train ride, bullet train ride, a trip on a train somewhere)
  • Thrill (Amusement park, bungee jumping, hot air balloon ride, alpine slide, zip lining)
  • Tasting (Wine tasting, cheese tasting, chocolate tasting, beer tasting)
  • Tour (Breweries are great in New England and there’s lots of them!)
  • Rides (Horse ride/trail ride, expensive/fast sports car or racing car)

Go homemade

Homemade might seem like it’s ubiquitous with “cheap” but when done right, homemade goods can be cheaper in price but far exceed the quality of store-bought goods, because many of them require pre-planning and months in advance to do. Here are some great ideas for some homemade gifts that require more time than anything:

  • Food box – Gift them a variety of homemade, shelf-stable food items. Presentation is key here – while you can make delicious cookies, if you just throw them in there carelessly they’ll look homemade. Make sure to wrap in a nice bag like a tulle bag and tie it off with some ribbon. Some shelf-stable food items you can give are: pickled items, trail mixes, cookies and biscuits (if baked close to gifting time), and candy-like items.
  • Experience box – Gift them a box that includes some items for an experience. An example might be an “ice cream sundae” box, which has a scooper, cones, sprinkles, homemade hot fudge, and a gift card for ice cream in it. Another idea is a “movie night” box which includes popcorn, some toppings, a popcorn bucket, and a gift card for a movie theater or rental service.
  • Sewn items – If you’re handy with a sewing machine or are an ace at hand sewing, then your ability to gift one-of-a-kind items got a whole lot easier! Sewing up cute plushies doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive – check out Spoonflower’s “cut and sew” items. You can also sew clothing, or helpful items like tool belts and protective aprons.
  • One-of-a-kind ornaments – Making a one of a kind keepsake ornament can really help you provide something memorable that your person will enjoy for years to come! Consider hand-painting ornaments, or using a Cricut (if you have one) to add designs to bulbs and other ornaments. 
  • Decorations – Making a live greenery wreath, kissing ball, door swag, or bough is actually quite an easy affair! If you have the items to make the “skeleton” beneath, and have an abundance of decorative items to attach to the greenery (or maybe you let them decorate it themselves!) then you’re well on your way to gifting a lush piece of live greenery for them to enjoy all season long.

Gift heirlooms

Is it time to start handing down the coveted vintage ceramic light up tree? Consider packing heirloom items and ornaments up and gifting them to the person who you know will take care of them. Consider handing down well-loved and coveted items like plushes, blankets, sentimental items, ornaments, and decorations. Since the items are already bought and loved, heirloom gifts are ideal environmentally friendly gifts!

How are you saving money this holiday season? Let us know in the comments!

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